New study reveals high confidence in digital transformation success despite challenges

New Update

Pegasystems Inc, a provider of strategic business applications for enterprises, announced the results of a global executive survey that reveals while a majority of companies expect to meet digital transformation objectives in 2016, more than 60 percent believe they must first make significant organizational changes to reach these goals.


The study, conducted this spring by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Pegasystems, is based on a global survey of 282 executives from key industries such as healthcare, financial services, biotech, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications. Executives expressed high confidence in their digital transformation plans, with 69 percent expecting to achieve their digital goals set for this year. Failure is not an option for most, as 77 percent report digital transformation is their company’s top strategic priority in 2016, and poor financial performance looms as the top consequence for not meeting this goal.

One reason for the optimism can be found in the way executives are approaching digital transformation as an opportunity to thrive as opposed to a market threat to be feared. The prospect of gaining a competitive advantage is the largest driving influence on how organizations set their digital transformation priorities, with 48 percent of business leaders citing it as a top factor. In contrast, only 25 percent identify competitive pressure as a lead driver for pursuing digital transformation.

But the report also reveals most organizations do not expect digital transformation to be easy. Sixty-one percent of business leaders say their company needs to make substantial organizational changes to achieve success. Respondents identified a lack of executive sponsorship as a critical impediment to reaching their goals. Forty percent of respondents said senior leaders need to increase their oversight of digital transformation initiatives, meaning change needs to be actively driven from the top.


Most companies are prioritizing improved customer service as the primary objective for digital transformation, with 57 percent of respondents identifying it as their top customer-facing goal. From an internal perspective, process optimization ranks as the most common goal, cited by 38 percent of respondents. This far outweighs focus on employee experience, with just 14 percent of business leaders focusing on improved employee engagement among their core digital transformation objectives.

To achieve digital transformation success, the study found more organizations plan to invest heavily in big data and analytics technologies (58 percent) this year than in any other digital technology, such as mobile computing (36 percent) and software as a service (29 percent). The planned investment in big data and analytics is consistent across industries.

“With the pace of digital change continuing to accelerate, it’s never been more important for senior business leaders to carry the torch for digital transformation within their organization,” said Don Schuerman, CTO and vice president of product marketing, Pegasystems. “The future of many companies now depends on their ability to translate digital potential into a competitive advantage. This is an all-encompassing effort that requires top executives to champion the deployment of flexible, digital technologies that change the way they engage with their customers.”

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